Jeannie Tucker Online

Top 10 ways to make your private lessons work for you! ©

By: Jeannie Tucker:

1. Find a Teacher that is an expert at what you want to study - "If you are going to trust someone to teach you to dance, and you don't want to have to re-learn it all someday, then research and make sure the person is well trained. Ask questions about their background, specialties, training and teaching experience. Teachers of movement have the potential to affect you posture, self-esteem and how you are percieved out there in the social dance scene. Many people take the profession of being a teacher lightly and thus do not really have your best interests at heart. A true professional will not mind being asked about their qualifications so ask."


2. Make a list of what dances or subjects ouy want help with and why...Be specific! - "Don't be surprised however, if you are told that you need to learn other skills before you can truely persue your desired goal. A good instructor will be able to explain why and guide you along the most productive path there."


3. Think of why you are learning to dance or manage your body better - "Your teacher needs to know as they will want to adapt the material you are learning to the enviroment you plan to be dancing or moving in. Some people want to have better posture, learn to be more coordinated or learn a specific dance. Remember, you are in charge of where you ultimately use your new skills. "


4. Always be sure about the location and time of your next lesson - "Most teachers book back to back private lesson times so being on time assures that you will get the most time for the money."


5. Take at least one lesson with a teacher before signing up for more lessons - "Some teachers use contracts with their students and so before you sign anything make sure the teacher is really the "best" fit for you and your needs. Ask for a first lesson that is paid for seperately so you can test out the potential teachers style of instruction."


6. Clarify the costs of your lessons and ask for any new student discounts or if you can share the lesson - "Taking semi-private lessons with a friend or dance partner will cut the costs and actually give you someone to practice with. Your teacher may also have other students working on similar skills that would want to share lessons with you.


7. Don't jump from one dance instructor to the other - "You need consistency in order to learn and therefore I suggest you really follow #1. (above) Pick a teacher you have well researched and give that teacher time to get you somewhere. Body habts are hard to break and form correctly. If you are not comfortable with the direction the teacher is taking you, then you need to speak up. Remember, they should be able to please you if you are able to be pleased."


8. Understand why you really want to dance - "Make sure you discuss this with your teacher and remember all reasons are noble ones. If you want to become a competitive dancer then you will need specific technique and training to get you there. If finding a partner in life as well as on the dancefloor is your goal, thenit might be more important to focus on your social dance skills. If you are learning to be a dance teacher one day, then realize it takes a lot more than just learning to dance to become a successful and responsible teacher. Learning to teach and learning to dance are very different things."


9. Don't let your dancing come between you and your partner - "If you are learning to dance with a significant other, then remember to make time for practice, lessons and just relaxing and dancing for the pure fun of it. Do not argue about your dancing. Write all questions down and present them to your teacher at the next lesson. Let him/her deal with those issues. Dancing should add enjoyment to your relationship and life - not stress."


10. Make it a habit to take notes at lessons - "We all want to remember what we learn but it is very difficult to do so. Taking good notes of the specific moves, practice drills and movements will help you not stress out over remembering your patterns and material. As you learn to dance you getting better at processing the information and will retain more but a notebook is always a great idea. Your teacher should be able to help you develope good note taking skills.

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